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First 2000+ miles road trip with family

AJ..

Member
Jan 9, 2022
23
15
CT
Wanted to share my thoughts from our 1st road trip in 2019 M3 (AWD) and general summary concerns with Tesla. (It’s a fantastic car for family - yes tight in space but other things make up for it). Having said that I’ll list the negatives here (for others to point workaround(s), or user error to alleviate the issues)

- Autopilot is super good (not FSD, the auto steer cruise control that comes by default). Is more than sufficient and allows to focus on other things while having hands on the wheel esp with small family. That alone trumps all negatives in my opinion.

- Fogging (internal) is a problem! big problem. Esp colder weather.

- Small side mirrors - painful

- Even though I like trying new things but Tesla needs to have buttons (some non UI buried soft button! - that does not change!) for basic stuff like controlling fan or starting/closing noisy defogger or other many critical car while-in-drive operations. Sorry, with noisy children, voice controlled commands are pure useless. Tesla, please don’t change the UI - I’d rather focus on other important things in life rather than figuring out what software update did to UI yesterday night before a long long trip on I95! Playing with car critical controls is definitely my desired no 1 thing before any significant drive. Shoddy work Tesla on that part!
- In general, range with EV is a bit of hogwash (likely for all EVs, not just Tesla). You can broadly calculate range by calculating 70% of EPA range (2-3 yrs of ownership and slightly optimistic scenario… 10% lower end and not charging over 80/85% being conservative - leaves around 70% without accounting for RANGE LOSS!) For eg with AWD long range (started around 316 miles) I get about 200-210 max actual usage on highways esp in areas where supercharger is not as dense. With AutoPilot drive which makes more efficient drive. That’s low in general (time of charge less of issue, promised range and ability more of it). I’ve not had issue on I95 from Rhode Island to FL at all (though around Georgia SC are spread out more). They need to have better ways than do a science project to recover miles that should have been there (or are there even now but range calculator needs recalibration - someone needs to have Tesla provide free service to fix this loss of range so they have to figure a way to solve this and not burden their customers with topping off and then going <5% charge - shoddy but I can imagine this being EV issue but would still want Tesla to try to solve as highest priority)
 

AJ..

Member
Jan 9, 2022
23
15
CT
And for folks not big into car tech and even maintenance — there are 2 things before embarking on long trip with Tesla (I did not get my car serviced at Service Center mostly due to Covid related issues and how far it is)
- tire inflation (keep this optimized, esp get own inflator pump esp long trip)
- Tesla (due to weight and other issues) - burns tires more frequently (I changed mine around 19,000 miles). My alignment issue likely made it but worse
- Alignment (local reputed car tire shops can do alignment- this may be hot topic so .. just sharing my experience- as SC appointment/distance/time was a no no for me) — but is a must have before long 1st trip
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,230
3,935
Maine
Try ABRP, abetterrouteplanner.com. It may give you better trip predictions.

As far as using 70% of EPA range for trips, you'll find that faster trip times are achieved when you use the battery in the lower part of its range, from 10-15% up to 65%. So, total range is only important if you are planning on not charging anywhere on your trip.
 

AJ..

Member
Jan 9, 2022
23
15
CT
Try ABRP, abetterrouteplanner.com. It may give you better trip predictions.

As far as using 70% of EPA range for trips, you'll find that faster trip times are achieved when you use the battery in the lower part of its range, from 10-15% up to 65%. So, total range is only important if you are planning on not charging anywhere on your trip.
Thanks for feedback. That’s quite true - I tend to go very low before recharge. With kids though I was bit defensive making it 15% and not lower. Time with super charger though is less of an issue tbh.
With family and 2 kids and Covid nastiness - I’m like Teslas’ trip planner is easiest (hell at least I’ll have time to key in proper address :)).

My comment was also in general Tesla experience sharing vein — that to me is the standout EV issue that Tesla as well hasn’t yet addressed and should be known upfront to any first time EV buyer. It’s the single biggest factor in decision making I think - given you can discount away 30-35% range within 1 yr of very nominal use (when typically range is the big differentiator in different models). I for one wanted to go for best range (316 miles for 100pc seem like workable even if not the best in 2019… others with AWD were much lesser range). I’m really hoping Tesla comes out with 400+ miles range with crossover Y model soon (newer battery tech). Given 30/35% range loss, that would give 275+ miles of stress free driving. On my trip along I 95 I did not have to think much about SC (except some longer pit stops around charging)… but I can imagine that can start being an issue if anyone drives outside the most common routes (say during winter months, or snowy conditions - range tends to drop much faster and I can easily see that become a concern). My intent is to help folks with planning better, and most importantly staying as much stress free knowing ahead what they could face in a Tesla EV.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
6,878
13,510
Springfield, VA
- Fogging (internal) is a problem! big problem. Esp colder weather.
What climate control settings were you using? I’ve really had interior window fogging problems with the system in automatic.

Manual modes, on the other hand, can result in all kinds of undesirable behavior, particularly if you disable A/C, turn on recirculating, set the fan speed too low, or a combination of these things.
 

AJ..

Member
Jan 9, 2022
23
15
CT
What climate control settings were you using? I’ve really had interior window fogging problems with the system in automatic.

Manual modes, on the other hand, can result in all kinds of undesirable behavior, particularly if you disable A/C, turn on recirculating, set the fan speed too low, or a combination of these things.
I tend to keep recycle ON (east coast winters esp last week or so with <30s temps). I was informed to keep fan ON (so have it at minimum at 3). Last 2-3 days (temps quite low around 20-30 F range) fogging seems way more! I’ve cleaned my interior windshield (last year, was rightly pointed out to me to clean this) esp with water wipes/slight vinegar/popular streak free glass cleaner. But fogging seems directly related to temps outside (I can see that part as obvious but never noticed with any other car!! which bugs me tbh). All said, there has to be a way to drive without running very noisy defogger (hot mode). That also seems to eat up battery. I’d appreciate any feedback on fog free driving with model 3. TIA!
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
6,878
13,510
Springfield, VA
I tend to keep recycle ON (east coast winters esp last week or so with <30s temps). I was informed to keep fan ON (so have it at minimum at 3). Last 2-3 days (temps quite low around 20-30 F range) fogging seems way more! I’ve cleaned my interior windshield (last year, was rightly pointed out to me to clean this) esp with water wipes/slight vinegar/popular streak free glass cleaner. But fogging seems directly related to temps outside (I can see that part as obvious but never noticed with any other car!! which bugs me tbh). All said, there has to be a way to drive without running very noisy defogger (hot mode). That also seems to eat up battery. I’d appreciate any feedback on fog free driving with model 3. TIA!

Keeping recirculate on (blue) is what’s causing your interior fogging. Turn it off and you won’t have to keep running the defogger.

When in recirculate mode, humidity from your breath builds up in the cabin. The problem gets worse when you have several people in the car. In some conditions, particularly when it’s below freezing outside, this humidity condenses on the insides of your cold windows. Keeping the system in fresh air mode will flush that humidity out with dryer air from the outside.
 
Last edited:

AJ..

Member
Jan 9, 2022
23
15
CT
Keeping recirculate on (blue) is what’s causing your interior fogging. Turn it off and you won’t have to keep running the defogger.

When in recirculate mode, humidity from your breath builds up in the cabin. The problem gets worse when you have several people in the car. In some conditions, particularly when it’s below freezing outside, this humidity condenses on the insides of your cold windows. Keeping the system in fresh air mode will flush that humidity out with dryer air from the outside.
Reporting back after trying out “recirculate” as off - for about 3-4 weeks period, I haven’t noticed any fogging issues. I’ll be tracking this more but so far noticeable difference to the point that I haven’t had to use my defogger in panic mode :) even once during this test period. Thank You again!
 
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